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Let’s hear it for proactive and engaged parents!

The Easy Breathing Band came about because two moms (myself and my mother-in-law) identified a problem and couldn’t find a solution. We talked with doctors, asked other parents and scoured the web… but there was nothing out there designed to replace or reinforce the flimsy elastic band that is used to hold nebulizer masks in place and ensure medication delivery. So we made our own system. Our kids loved it, we loved it and other parents in similar situations started to talk…

That’s the quick version of our story. I bring this up, only to encourage other parents to get out there and get proactive. You may not be an inventor, but you may be able to affect change within your local school district or raise awareness for respiratory conditions impacting your family & community.

One of the first steps in any development project is education. There are a ton of resources out there. One that’s particularly eye-catching this week – given all of the back-to-school buzz – is the following free webinar organized by the Environmental Protection Agency. Details quoted from the event registration page…

Webinar: Strategic Collaboration for Effective Asthma Management in Schools

Sponsoring Program:
Event Date:
12 September 2012 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Event Description:
Are you interested in forming strategic community partnerships to achieve optimal asthma management in schools? Then join EPA for the Green Strides Strategic Collaboration for Effective Asthma Management in

Schools webinar on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, from 2 – 3 p.m. EDT. Hear from leading asthma experts as they discuss best practices for asthma management in schools and how they formed successful collaborations with key partners to expand the reach of their comprehensive school-based asthma management programs.

Attend this webinar to:

  • Discover strategies for identifying and
    collaborating with a diverse set of community partners to improve asthma management in schools.
  • Hear unique perspectives and tactics for increasing community awareness about
    asthma’s impact on students and how to effectively control it.
  • Learn how controlling asthma in schools can lead to improved academic performance.
  • Understand the connection between effective asthma
    management in schools and green and healthy learning environments.
  • Gain answers to your questions about comprehensive school-based asthma management programs from leading asthma experts.

Speakers:

  • Teresa Lampmann, Coordinating Manager, The Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey
  • Marilyn Hammett, Coordinator of Health Services, Louisiana Recovery School District
  • Kitty Hernlen, Assistant Professor, Georgia Health Sciences University

Facilitator:

  • Tracy Washington Enger, Indoor Environments Division,
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Did you hear that? A collective sigh of relief from parents everywhere? The kids are headed back to school!

While it’s nice to get back to a routine, it’s always a bit troubling to send your little one off into someone else’s care. For parents of asthma sufferers, this time of year is a great opportunity to talk with your youngster:

  • Does he/she understand why they need to take their medication?
  • Can he/she identify and avoid triggers?
  • Does he/she know dosing instructions?
  • Can he/she self-administer medication, regularly and responsibly?

Even if you can answer “yes” to these questions, you should work on drafting an action plan that includes: a history of the condition, triggers, dosing instructions, notes from your physician and emergency contact numbers. Make sure your school has a copy of your child’s information and find out who is in charge of administering medication.

Be proactive!

Indoor air quality (IAQ) also plays a big role in the prevalence of asthma. If you feel like there may be some IAQ issues at your school, check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s excellent IAQ Action Kit. The kit is built for administrators, teachers and parents and includes a number of checklists and action plans for improvement.

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